Fears over parking misery

PUBLISHED: 08:00 20 March 2015

Wraxall villagers object to GE Oil and Gas proposal.

Wraxall villagers object to GE Oil and Gas proposal.

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VILLAGE leaders in Wraxall are objecting to plans for a new building at GE Oil and Gas due to fears it could exacerbate the current parking problems.

People living in Lodge Lane are fed up with employees parking in residential streets and making it difficult for them to park outside their homes.

The firm, based in Nailsea’s High Street, has applied to North Somerset Council for permission to build an industrial test facility and four-storey office building.

The proposal will mean a loss of 50 car parking spaces for staff and villagers fear this will lead to more employees parking in residential streets.

North Somerset councillor Charles Cave, who represents Wraxall, said: “Various concerns have been raised – the look of the building, light pollution and also the fact that it’s four storeys high and can be seen from all around.

“The main issue is the travel plan, which is considered to be inadequate as it’s based on figures that are a couple of years old.

“They are going to lose about 50 car parking spaces and there’s concern about people already parking in Lodge Lane and elsewhere so there would be further problems.

“They said they have lost staff so there’s less need for parking but I can see potential for more people there and further need for parking when the price of oil goes up.”

GE Oil and Gas currently has 547 staff at the premises and a demand for 391 spaces each day.

There are only 379 parking spaces at the site, so the firm is planning to reduce the need for spaces by setting up a travel plan to encourage people to car share, cycle and walk to work and use public transport.

According to a staff survey carried out in 2013, 67 per cent of respondents drive to work on their own, while only 14 per cent share a car with a colleague.

The firm hopes to increase car sharing to 23 per cent by implementing a travel plan.

Wraxall and Failand Parish Council voted to recommend refusal of the plans at a meeting on March 10.


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